«In my pocket, my crochet needles are lighter than a knife»
The exhibition which is held currently in the delemontaine gallery was curated by BillyBoy* & Lala, who exhibit simultaneously a few steps away at the ARTsenal. The visitor will find in the Italian artist's creation the creativity and freshness of the effervescent duo artsenalien. Once the threshold of the gallery crossed, the longitudinal vault appears silent and naked, apparently closer to the stern introspection than to the excitement that characterizes the work of the Italian artist. The best is to come.
Aldo Lanzini De Agostini D’Aviance was born in Sondrio in 1968. Having trained at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, he specialized in multimedia, obtaining a master at the Royal Academy of Amsterdam. His Illegal Alliens, character dolls in felt - refering to illegal immigration- have been acknowledged in major fashion and decorative art magazines. His various works in crochet are of a virtuoso workmanship in improvisation. They range from small animals, to masks, clothes, each one more improbable than the other. During his ten years in New York, Aldo Lanzini distinguished himself as a stylist and costume designer for personalities of the alternative scene. On the occasion of the last night of the museums, he participated, along with other Italian designers, to the making of the Family Dress, an outfit to be worn by twenty-one people. Placed in the main room at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Paris, the giant costume was inviting visitors to take place. A crazy atmosphere on electroacoustic musical background.
More quietly, the cellar-like delemontaine gallery exposes thirty amazing self portraits that enhance mostly the crazy hoods than the wearer's face, of whom only one eyes sometimes is visible amongst this overwhelming colourful activity. Taking his inspiration in both tribal masks than in his very own personal introspection, Lanzini fascinates by the outgoing freedom of its production which ranges from crafts, fashion, sculptures and occasionally, performance.
If the work of Aldo Lanzini immediately strikes by its jubilant vitality, it also lends itself to highly the topic of the appearance of the individual. Is the gaze of the artist, all wrapped up in the eccentric and sometimes suffocating affair covering his face and head a main component of the work? To what, aside from the eyeball, does the rest of the face look like? What status should be given to the latter? Glaring at the other, in many societies, especially the big western cities, can also be assimilated to a provocation. Revealing the eye only can be perceived as a protection, a constraint, a shelter, or a resignation. The masked faces are also part of a questioning on the Islamic veil for instance and the various legislations concerning unidentifiable persons wearing helmets, scarves and other hoods. Cyclopean faces, wild growths, asymmetric organs as the ever present animal connotations evoke normality and its opposite. They put the finger on the mutant part within each individual of today, which once freed from its wacky treatment, can also be seen in terms of mutilation, whether from surgical interventions, genetic manipulation or consequences of nuclear contamination. In these area at risk, in his very controlled exercise, Lanzini never yields to the facilities of the grotesque or of cynicism. For him, creative fervour and sublimation in representation outshines definitely morbid exhibitionism and narcissistic arrogance.
The hoods of Lanzini assert themselves - without any heavy or preachy message - as magnificent works from which the visitor, as free and clear as is the artist, will keep only what he needs. They contain a high potential of lightness, modesty and boldness. One regret though: photographs, despite of their high level, give only a smooth glimpse of this production, which materializes in elaborate texture and fiber mixings, bright dyes and stunning volumes which all must translate greatly multiplied dimensioning in real. Performances where clothes are worn by extras probably add and capture more the Lombard designer's universe who will still be exhibited on the up-coming Gay Pride. Along with BillyBoy* and Lala, surrounded by the passionate ladies from the Café Tricot of the town (who knitted BillyBoy* & Lala's Celebration wedding cakes) Aldo Lanzini is expected at the festivities. With maybe, as a bonus, in this very gay early summer, a demonstration of the very original and charming masterly knit artwork of this Milanese maestro.
Translated by Lala J.P Lestrade
© Le Quotidien Jurassien